With the Flint water crisis still fresh in city water managers’ — and community members’ — minds, ensuring water treatment plants produce safe drinking water is top priority for environmental officials and managers.
General Electric’s technology is helping a water treatment plant in Canada meet new water safety rules and has allowed the city of Nanaimo to stop boil water advisories.
The water treatment plant in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, uses GE’s ZeeWeed membrane technology to purify water from the Nanaimo River into drinking water. Prior to the opening of the new plant, the city had experienced boil water advisories because of elevated turbidity.
Operating since December 2015, the South Fork Water Treatment Plant meets new regulations to prevent waterborne illnesses and provides safer drinking water for the 90,000 residents of Nanaimo.
To meet new regulations, the city was required to build a new facility that would filter the source water to screen out minute particles, bacteria and pathogenic disease-causing organisms such as cryptosporidium and giardia. The city chose GE’s ZeeWeed 1000 and ZeeWeed 500d membrane technology for the plant.
The city’s previous system was a single form of treatment involving coarse and fine screening of water to remove large debris followed by chlorine injection. The new system using GE’s ultrafiltration system is what the company calls “a multibarrier approach to safe drinking water.” It uses a fine-screening, two-stage siphon membrane system and chlorine disinfection. The first membrane stage consists of seven trains of ZeeWeed 1000 modules. The second stage, consisting of four trains of ZeeWeed 500d membranes followed by ultraviolet disinfection, treats the backwash water from the first stage to increase overall plant recovery to more than 99 percent.
The plant is capable of treating up to 30 million gallons per day.
GE’s ZeeWeed membranes, which separate particles, bacteria and viruses from water or wastewater, enable the city to meet the drinking water quality criteria while reducing chemical and power consumption and minimizing the production of waste from the facility. Nearly 1,000 plants worldwide use this technology.
GE’s membrane-based wastewater treatment technology can also help industrial customers treat and reuse wastewater, meet strict discharge limits and generate renewable energy from wastewater.
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